Sunday, January 19, 2014

God's Good and Gracious Memory

I recently completed teaching an online class on the Letter to the Hebrews. For a few weeks I am sharing thoughts that came from this study.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6:10)

We decide to be followers of Jesus. We experience some joys and blessings mixed with some promised challenges.  We stay faithful over the years, but then experience some really severe trials, and we wonder. We wonder where God is or if God has forgotten our commitment and service. Our confidence is shaken a bit. That must have been the experience of those receiving the Letter to the Hebrews, and so much so that they were thinking about leaving Jesus.

Our writer wants them, and us, to understand God is not unjust, not unaware, not out of touch. And he does not forget the love we have shown him. There are different times in my life when I especially need that message.

Interestingly, today is one of those days, as I am being bothered by a nasty respiratory virus currently making the rounds. I would score high on the misery index. I had to miss the time with the church, and I feel about as unproductive as a knot on the proverbial log. About the best thing I did was gargle regularly with hot salt water and drink lot of hot tea. Needless to say, my self-esteem is not soaring.

But it is good for me to know that God is not unjust, and he has not forgotten about other days and weeks in my life. Of course, on those days anything I did to fruitfully love him and his people was done because of his grace, but it still good to know God sees those days and not just those like today.

1 comment:

  1. This week more comments were made than usual and so I have copied them all over to our new Mind Change Moment site.

    Curtis White
    January 20, 2014 at 5:37 AM
    Amen Tom! Do feel better!!!


    Angela Schemm
    January 20, 2014 at 6:50 AM
    May you feel much better real soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Al Foss
    January 20, 2014 at 7:22 AM
    Amen Tom, I do pray you will get over your virus and are feeling better very soon! I really enjoy reading your MCM and your insights into God's Word! They help me learn how to practically apply the teachings of the Bible to my life and I just want to say thank you for being one of my hero's in the faith!

    January 20, 2014 at 7:43 AM
    Amen and thank you for your study. I hope you feel better. As I was reading this, it is encouraging to be reminded by the word that God does see my fight to stay close and keep the faith. It helps me to continue on my journey toward Heaven. Thanks again

    Barry Mattox
    January 20, 2014 at 10:28 AM
    Tom, I appreciate your example to me of faithfulness under trial. Also, thanks for your transparency and humility. You are a true man of God who continues to give and give. (That goes also for your wife - but substitute "woman of God.")


    Tara Pheneger
    January 20, 2014 at 10:47 AM
    Tom, I am curious. Does being sick and unproductive qualify for one of those times. You mentioned self esteem. What does that have to do with it too? Praying, being close to God and just being with him on those days would be pleasing to God. I am not sure what you meant. Perhaps I misread!

    Tom A. Jones

    Tom A. JonesJanuary 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM
    Tara, you are right to say God can still be pleased with us even when we can't be that productive. I have always loved Revelation 3:8: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." God certainly looks at the heart and not our productivity. My thought was just that on a day when I couldn't do much of anything (and thus "felt" a bit on the useless side) God keeps in mind the big picture of the ways he has worked in my life, and that thought is encouraging to me. I write, however, with not only a stuffy nose but a bit of a blurred mind, but I hope that communicates more clearly.

    Erol Woods
    January 20, 2014 at 2:50 PM
    Tom, God's ways are so timely! Yesterday, Dan Roditi preached a message from Gen 16 about El Roi - the God who sees me. It's the only time recorded in the bible that God is referred to by that name and it reminded me that he does indeed see us, know us and feels with us in every situation we face. It's encouraging to know that he's continually looking for ways to strengthen us (2 Ch 16:9, Dt 32:36), especially when we're feeling weak and not very useful. Thank you for your thoughtful and faith building MCMs each week.

    January 21, 2014 at 9:15 AM
    Erol, thanks for your helpful comments. Amen, the God who sees me! That is one to hold on to.